AMD ends driver support for non-GCN Radeon cards

All good things must come to an end. AMD has officially ended driver development efforts for older, non-GCN-based Radeon cards. All cards in the Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series are now considered legacy products. Radeon HD 7600 and lower cards, along with HD 8400 and lower cards, are also entering sunset status today.

The company says those products have reached their "peak performance optimization" as of today. AMD is now focusing its software development efforts on products built with the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. The company isn't saying farewell to the legacy GPUs without a proper send-off, though. The latest beta version of AMD's redesigned Radeon Software Crimson Edition is the last driver that will support these older cards.

For owners of legacy products who are looking to play it a little safer, AMD's WHQL-certified Catalyst 15.7.1 drivers will remain available on Windows Update for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Users can opt to download the last Catalyst release for their cards from AMD's driver download page, too.

Comments closed
    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    It is not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

    Nvidia and AMD were going to be phasing out their older hardware platforms sooner or later. Nvidia has already discontinued anything older than DX9-era chips. They will start doing the same thing anything older than Fermi once Windows 7 and 8 go EOL. They barely touch on anything older than Maxwell unless it is a critical issue.

    The older platforms are pretty rock solid and have little or no major issue that still linger.

    If anything blame Windows 10 and WDDM 2.0 for this.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      Blame for what? Anyway, WDDM 1.x is still supported…

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    One thing I noticed, is I thought Carizzo is supposed to be GCN based??

    But is shows up only in the beta/legacy support notes!?!

    Any ideas?

    [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy3&os=Windows+8.1+-+64[/url<] [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/AMD-Radeon-Software-Crimson-Edition-Beta.aspx[/url<] " AMD APU Product Family Compatibility AMD APU series codenamed "Kaveri", "Godavari" and "Carrizo" are only supported by AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta on Windows® 7 (32 & 64-bit), Windows® 8.1 (64-bit) and Windows® 10 (64-bit)."

      • LostCat
      • 4 years ago

      They are still supported. The note is relevant to what OSes they support with those products.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    Installed Latest Crimson Beta Driver last night on W7 x64 pro for my old HD 6850 no issues.

    Didn’t have any time to test anything or tinker with it though.

    • Prestige Worldwide
    • 4 years ago

    Considering GCN has been out for nearly 5 years….. big whoop!

    • Puiucs
    • 4 years ago

    for those having a non GCN card can install the Crimson 15.11-15.30.1025-Beta7 driver (just google it). it’s the last one that has support for the legacy cards.

      • ClickClick5
      • 4 years ago

      For Win 10 x64: [url<]http://www2.ati.com/drivers/radeon-crimson-15.11-win10-64bit.exe[/url<]

    • willg
    • 4 years ago

    What about the APUs? Llano, Trinity and Richland are all based on VLIW architectures not GCN.

    AMD are still selling Richland SKUs today.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      They are? Or do you mean that Richland is still in the channel?

    • Klimax
    • 4 years ago

    Unsurprising. They don’t have resources to develop drivers (and at least maintain optimizations) for two very different architectures. Bit different from Nvidia, where they avoided such large scale changes. (They might be moving scheduler between HW and SW o some other nontrivial changes, but not these)

    Now lets see if they actually manage to use those free resources better…

    • kuttan
    • 4 years ago

    Its a good move. From now on AMD can fully concentrate on optimizing drivers for GCN graphics cards.

    • Blazex
    • 4 years ago

    yay, my laptops hd7570m is now on legacy driver status >.>
    a 3 year old ivy bridge laptop is officially legacy…

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 4 years ago

    Can’t say I’m surprised. AMD’s been mothballing its cards more quickly than nVidia for quite some time now. In theory, this could mean AMD’s still-supported cards will get better support moving forward.

    Or it could mean that AMD gets to “streamline” its driver teams a little more and make them even smaller while maintaining the same level of improvements going forward.

    Given their driver work this year (and their sparing WHQL releases), I expect you’ll see more of the same from them. Especially when their best promise going into 2016 is that they’ll do “up to” six driver releases.

    Which could mean six releases. Or it could mean zero. “Up to” is how they describe their clockspeeds on their GPU’s. “Up to” is what CompUSA and Circuit City used to use to describe their “After Rebate” prices in their news fliers.

    “Up to” is a guarantee by one that doesn’t give guarantees. That sums up AMD imo.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      Curious. Is there a difference between “legacy” and what Fermi is currently for Nvidia?

      As someone who has a 460 (hasn’t been used since I got my laptop) I don my recall ever getting drivers that improve performance for newer games or new features. I do know DX12 support is supposed to arrive, but otherwise it seems just like Legacy to me.

      I suppose it means if/when a big issue pops up Nvidia will deal with it? Or did I just miss any performance improvements/etc in the last 2-3 years on Fermi?

        • Klimax
        • 4 years ago

        You don’t see optimizations for simple reason: most of driver-side was likely taken and Fermi has large HW scheduler so a lot of things are done by HW which are done for Kepler/Maxwell in drivers and thus some things are bit frozen in time.

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 4 years ago

    Well, it sucks, but, for both future support and right now it makes sense. Which doesn’t make it suck any less. Although besides DX12 I don’t think Nvidia’s Fermi is getting anything new added. So, not sure if this is far behind, or barely behind Nvidia.

    If your card is over 4 years old both companies want you to upgrade. And dropping VLIW means that AMD should be able to put more resources into GCN which will continue on through 14nm.

    GCN everywhere. Lifespan is at least 4 more years.

    Anyone worried about the quality of AMD’s drivers should take this as a good sign for GCN.

    • synthtel2
    • 4 years ago

    I have to wonder what’s up with the VLIW R5 210 through 235X cards that appear to still be supported (same situation as Nvidia famously runs with Fermi). It seems like as long as they’re supported, it wouldn’t be too tough to support all the 5000+-series cards in the same driver package, since most of the logic for those cards will have to be there anyway. (I do completely understand dropping development for them, to be clear, it’s just the cards compatible with newer releases that’s odd.)

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      Budget cards and OEMs. Likely only bugfixes and thus they don’t need too many engineers on them. (No optimizations or other games-related stuff)

    • guardianl
    • 4 years ago

    Pre-GCN cards were based off of very-long instruction word architectures (VLIW) which required careful driver optimizations to maximize performance. [s<]In fact I suspect that Kepler/Maxwell is closer to a VLIW design than anything else.[/s<] A very different beast from GCN. GCN is more like a bunch of tiny RISC CPUs. Those "RISC" CUs might more accurately be portrayed as just RISC ALUs with some minimal support for branching. From what I understand there was very little overlap in terms of effort between the two code bases so this is really good news for AMD maximizing their remaining development talent. On a side note, with hindsight it's pretty clear that ATI's old power/perf advantage was directly tied to the VLIW architecture given that GCN has had three revisions now and has only made minor strides in power reduction. I hold out hope that AMD will return to VLIW designs in the future. It might be hard to write drivers for, but for max perf/power and perf/area it wins. [b<]Edit: Allow me to clarify a little bit on the "closer to VLIW" for kepler/maxwell because I didn't say it was [i<]literally[/i<] VLIW. Nvidia's PTX ISA (which is a virtual ISA, but supposedly close to the actual silicon ISA) contains phrases like "Threads within a CTA execute in SIMT (single-instruction, multiple-thread) fashion in groups called warps" and "the multiprocessor employs a new architecture we call SIMT (single-instruction, multiple-thread)" which doesn't feel RISC-like at all, but maybe it's just more accurately described as SIMD with some CISC-like instructions. The scheduling Nvidia is doing in software with their SIMT looks an awful lot like the complexity of VLIW packing and scheduling even if it's not literally the same. It's certainly not "serial RISC" in any traditional sense. [url=http://docs.nvidia.com/cuda/parallel-thread-execution/index.html#programming-model<]Nvidia PTX ISA Doc[/url<][/b<] [url=http://cis565-spring-2012.github.io/lectures/04-18-Modern-GPUs.pptx<]Decent comparison of VLIW in current GPUs[/url<]

      • Pitabred
      • 4 years ago

      RISC vs x86 all over again… perhaps the DX12+ landscape may change that, though? It’s a different style of programming that may lead to more efficiency in the hardware overall, kinda like the Itanic wasn’t great at all the general programs that existed, but it did rock some special-case applications.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]It might be hard to write drivers for, but for max perf/power and perf/area it wins.[/quote<] Don't worry, writing drivers for GCN isn't a walk in the park either. -- AMD

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 4 years ago

      VLIW is terrible for compute. End of discussion. Not being used. Having a graphics and compute architecture is hard. GCN is the best architecture that does both well.

      And VLIW is a seperate beast. The closest architecture to VLIW in a shipping product from Nvidia or AMD is Nvidia’s Custom CPU core.

      Kepler/Maxwell are all about having better “serial” performance while VLIW and GCN have been about going wide.

      Which is why AMD “needs” to have higher raw hardware specs in terms of FLOPs. They rarely fully fill up the power used due to going wide. At least not in games.

      (this is a very badly written brief overview. I probably screwed wording something(s) up)

      • yuhong
      • 4 years ago

      Also Litecoin mining sales.

      • namae nanka
      • 4 years ago

      AMD aren’t going to return to VLIW, it was way behind for compute. Neither are nvidia doing VLIW.

      AMD moved to a hardware scheduler with GCN while nvidia gave it up with Kepler. The power/perf advantage for AMD wasn’t as big as you imagine, for same generation they were even behind but were faster to new nodes.

      [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/EAH5970/32.html[/url<] Fermi was the power guzzler and nvidia rectified it. The biggest reason for AMD's current state imo is their lack of clockspeeds. With the same die size you can't expect to compete with the 10-20% higher clockspeeds(at stock, with oced cards you're looking at bigger gap) from the competition. Especially when you are lagging even on the software front and don't have the dev. relations(gameworks) to make up for it. AMD have to substantially up the power usage on their cards to reach the max. possible factory stable clocks now and that reflects in poor power efficiency. edit: There's the lack of double precision on maxwell as well, it'd be interesting to see how much difference that makes on Pascal, with power and clockspeeds.

      • Klimax
      • 4 years ago

      K/M are not close to VLIV, they are superscalar. Reason why they require bigger driver optimizations is that they have only simple scheduler and thus major of it has to be done in driver. (Fermi was compute oriented and thus had very complex scheduler – similar to GCN)

      VLIW is its own special hell apart of classical OOO cores or superscalar.

      • auxy
      • 4 years ago

      Interesting Powerpoint, but it really is just interesting and not all that informative. Clearly intended to be usee alongside a talk of some kind, do you have a link to that?

    • Mat3
    • 4 years ago

    My 6870 has had a good run. It’s likely the 1GB of RAM that’s likely the biggest bottleneck than the core performance or that it’s below the official requirements of a lot of new games; early GCN(7850) typically being the lowest Radeon officially supported.

    • Ushio01
    • 4 years ago

    Sure there only OEM cards but stopping driver support for 2 year old cards is still unacceptable.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      That’s longer than they have supported some of their product. (such as the 690g graphics) got thrown into legacy months after release.

      • JMccovery
      • 4 years ago

      What are the chances that people who have such cards update their drivers outside of Windows Update, or the drivers provided with the system?

        • travbrad
        • 4 years ago

        I also wonder how many optimizations those older cards were actually getting even though officially they were still “supported”. It has always seemed like the newer cards/architectures get the biggest gains from driver updates, both AMD and Nvidia.

    • south side sammy
    • 4 years ago

    guess I better hurry up and buy one of those “old” r9 290’s for my now ancient 64bit version of XP because it’s the best card that still runs on it………. funny how good XP runs regardless of the platform.

      • wimpishsundew
      • 4 years ago

      Win XP was great for its time. It’s not comparable to Win7/8/10. I just don’t know why you wouldn’t upgrade to at least Win7 for a lot of reasons. Sticking an R9 290 into an XP machine is kind of a waste unless you’re not trying to play the latest games.

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        It’s xp64, it’s actually server 2003 platform with DX baked in. It can play “newish” games…
        Driver support is very spotty though.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 4 years ago

      If you are still running Windows XP, you don’t deserve new games.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      Do you have a legitimate reason for not upgrading?

        • albundy
        • 4 years ago

        XP isnt reason enough?

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      290, stuck on DX9C? Why do you need a GPU that good when sticking to XP which won’t take advantage of the last 3 major DX releases?

      • albundy
      • 4 years ago

      how did you get DX12 running on XP?

    • Ninjitsu
    • 4 years ago

    It’s funny only because I read someone here going on about how Nvidia was abandoning Fermi users because they haven’t provided DX12 support yet.

    • USAFTW
    • 4 years ago

    This is the last straw for me. Even though I bit the bullet and switched to nvidia, it kinda pains me to see nvidia release a driver this July for its DX10 cards (as old as G80, 2006!), ver. 341.81, AMD is axing drivers for its 2010 cards? For God’s sake even the Fermi generation has base level DX12 support now through 358.70 dev drivers!
    Seriously AMD, how many times do you want to shoot yourself in the foot!

      • Pitabred
      • 4 years ago

      They’re not axing, they’re just no longer actively developing them. GCN is a different architecture than their older VLIW chips, and I’m guessing that there’s very little benefit to them for further development of the VLIW code, and it may actually cost them a good bit of money that they could invest in the new architecture. Nvidia doesn’t have any of those kind of major sea-change chip architecture changes since their old DX10 cards, IIRC. The drivers work, they support Windows 10 and WDDM 2.0 and will continue functioning for the foreseeable future… what more do you want?

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        Nothing, really. I hate to be too hard on AMD (not that it matters), but they stop driver releases much earlier than Nvidia. The fact that G80-G200 cards all have Win 10 drivers right now and AMD 4000 series and earlier doesn’t (only up to 8), gives the Nvidia the long-term reliability nod, in my opinion.
        But I kinda understand now that if all it takes to make a magical new driver release now, it is probably okay to stop supporting 5 year old GPU architecture, even if the high-end segment of that generation is perfectly capable of 1080p games.
        But they’re financially constrained, what are you gonna do?

          • swaaye
          • 4 years ago

          I’m actually somewhat surprised that 5000-6000 lasted this long. It’s longer than their other cards went. I figure it’s because D3D 11 is still relevant and their APUs had the VLIW tech fairly recently.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        I wouldn’t mind if my old HD5670 doesn’t get new drivers anymore. It’s not like AMD can squeeze a lot more performance out of it anyway and it’s not like I’d still worry about a 5+ year old card not getting new drivers anymore. And it’s not like I’ll be playing new titles with it where problems could arise which AMD needs to fix either.

        The good thing is, I’ve had my HD7770 for almost 3 years now and it’s nice that AMD still supports it. Even the drivers that aren’t the latest don’t give me any issues apart from the occasional installation failures I get sometimes for whatever reason. Using Catalyst 15.7 and it’s just fine. Not even using Omega.

          • erwendigo
          • 4 years ago

          “The good thing is, I’ve had my HD7770 for almost 3 years now and it’s nice that AMD still supports it.”

          No, it isn’t. AMD doesn’t supports your HD7770. Point.

          Welcome to the planned obsolescence, by AMD. I sees that you are very happy when AMD abandons your hardware.

          The issue isn’t new optimizations or upgrades of the performance. The issue is with the bugs and error with new games and applications, that AMD isn’t going to patch to you.

            • JMccovery
            • 4 years ago

            How is his GCN-based 7770 not supported again? There may not be many bug/error fixes, but that card is still supported by mainline drivers.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 4 years ago

            You’re misreading what’s being dropped. 7600 series is not GCN-based, but 7700 series is. So the 7770 is still supported.

          • DarkMikaru
          • 4 years ago

          Great minds think alike huh. I’m still rocking my beloved Sapphire 7790 1GB card which is probably about as old as your 7770. Since I’m a casual gamer I’ll rock it until the fans come off lol… but if I were to upgrade the 370 @ $129 I’d be happy with that level of performance.

        • Eversor
        • 4 years ago

        Nvidia cards have changed architecture somewhat. G80 is similar, yet quite different from GPUs starting with Kepler, which eschewed ‘double clocked’ shaders for more SIMD width. Whatever is in the black box is probably quite different than G80 to GF100.

        Even if he is not on point, he isn’t wrong, Nvidia still supports GeForce 6 cards on a bug fix schedule, even on Linux, allowing you to use them with newer kernels/X. I have tried various AMD GPUs/APUs since 2003 and they all had very nasty driver issues. Linux support is also effectively non-existent and even Intel puts them to shame there.

        e.g.: Starting a year and a half ago, a Brazos Laptop I have received a W7 driver updated that screwed up Gamma and Brightness. It is still the same way today, the picture looks horrible compared with older drivers. Regardless of source, recent drivers are the same, I have to go to the control panel and fix it manually or revert the driver.

      • bthylafh
      • 4 years ago

      AMD’s pretty good about occasionally releasing new legacy driver versions, just far less often than for current cards. I doubt Nvidia does anything besides fix bugs for old G80 cards these days.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        I don’t know how you got the impression that they really support their “legacy” cards. AMD didn’t even bother to officially support Windows 8.1 for Radeon HD 2000-4000. You can run an old Windows Update driver dated about 2012 IIRC.

        They did drop some downloadable drivers for Windows 8.0 but I noticed that the driver version barely incremented. These also all broke DRM somehow so the Netflix app wouldn’t work. A bummer because it’s the only way to get 5.1 audio from Netflix on PC.

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        I think they stated in their PR that the Crimson beta, which removes AF options in RS, will be the last ever driver to be released, no quarterly or bi-quarterly drivers apparently.

      • anotherengineer
      • 4 years ago

      Legacy cards still typically get minor quarterly updates for awhile, at least that’s what happened with the HD2,3 and 4k series. I think focusing on their GCN cards is the right thing to do with their limited resources, and I have a 6850!

      When I migrate to W10, I will get a DX12 card anyway since the old 6850 is DX11.

      Even the legacy 5x and 6x series can still use the new crimson, it’s just a beta version though.

      [url<]http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy3&os=Windows+7+-+64[/url<]

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, I’m not too bothered about it either. After giving it some though, I kind of started to get it. If support for VLIW generation was the only thing stopping them from releasing a killer driver with shader cache and DX12 imprevements, I’m glad they did it.

      • Sammael
      • 4 years ago

      Out of curiosity, do you tend to use gpus for 5+ years?

        • Dposcorp
        • 4 years ago

        My kids are gaming on 5770 cards since they dont need much more at their.
        I know a lot of people still gaming in 5870s.

          • Farting Bob
          • 4 years ago

          And their drivers are pretty much as optimised as they are ever going to be, i dont see the problem with stopping getting free updates after 5 years.

        • LauRoman
        • 4 years ago

        Well do you throw yours out after 60 months? I do have nv 9500 gt in the garage area and it works fine for 1080p hw accelerated videos and light gaming. And on what currently is my main desktop (which i can’t be bothered to actually upgrade until it actually breaks) Hearthstone plus 2 1080p videos/streams on 3 non eyefinity monitors. And that one uses an amd 6800 and a C2Q. I haven’t tried livestreaming anything from it. Multicore intensive computing i do on my i7 laptop though.

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        If the performance is adequate for my needs, why not. The highest end cards of that timeline are roughly equal to things like R7 370 or GTX 660.

      • GTVic
      • 4 years ago

      Placebo, is there evidence that this NVIDIA July release for DX10 cards G80 or whatever, actually had any measurable improvement for these old cards (performance, compatibility, stability)?

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        Being able to display higher than 640×480 at windows 10 and hardware video acceleration?

      • LASR
      • 4 years ago

      That’s what happens when your company is sinking ship that is rapidly taking on water. It is not enough that everyone grabs a bucket and starts bailing. You also dump as much weight as you can. Stuff like driver support for older products are the first to go.

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        Sorry, this has been their plan for literally years already due to architecture changes.

        You can’t just make up plausible BS and see what sticks.

      • _ppi
      • 4 years ago

      Realize these cards do not have oomph to run the latest games anyway. Old games run fine enough.

      As for the former GeForce 8600 GTS owner, the card that went slideshow-mode in the frozen ship scene in first level of Crysis 1, I would appreciate to learn the scale of performance improvements in Fallout 4 and Witcher 3 in those latesdrivers. Could you please fill me in?

      But … I would admit there’s coulple games that should be able to run well enough (e.g. MOBAs or all Blizzard games), which future game patches might ruin the performance.

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        People who got 8600 GTSs or 9500 GTs couldn’t have possibly dreamt of gaming on these at 2015. But, people who have early HD 5870s or perhaps 6990s, are left out in two ways from here on out:
        1. No crossfire profiles, no more being able to use that pesky second GPU on the board.
        2. With games like Wolfenstein New Order, which actually require a newer driver version just to start up, the game will straight up refuse to run.
        Again, if it were only such powerless 32-shader hunks of garbage were affected I wouldn’t give a damn. But they’re dropping drivers for cards that are at least as powerful as 260Xs or 750Tis, cards that fully support any game that has launched this year except DX12 demos, that bothers me.
        For the record, I’ve tested a single GTX 280, at 1080p in GTA V with medium settings (much better image quality than previous gen consoles), which delivered ~40 fps, never dipping below 30. This is straight up planned obsolescence , and kinda dissapointing to see from a GPU vendor that I’ve recommended to friends for at least 5 years.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      You realize that Nvidia doesn’t provide any significant support with anything that is older than Fermi? They don’t even bother to optimize anything older than Maxwell. They just throw the same code for older stuff back into standard test suite involved in WDM certification and get a digital signature on the drivers. Bump the numbers and timestamps up. Don’t worry, it is a common practice among hardware vendors with mature platforms that have little or no issues.

      DX12 and WDDM 2.0 only officially work on Maxwell and GCN 1.2-era chips at this time. GCN 1.0 and Kepler users are SOL.
      Windows 10 runs such chips at DX11 and WDDM 1.1 mode.

        • USAFTW
        • 4 years ago

        See, what you’re doing there is speculating. I agree that focusing driver development on aging architecture is unreasonable, especially hardware circa-2010, but they do include game profiles for newer titles. GTA V was added to 341.81 drivers that was absent previously. Windows 10 drivers (working at the hardware support level) are available for G80+ on the nvidia side, HD 3000 and 4000 series didn’t even get 8.1 drivers, FWIW.
        Also, Fermi runs at WDDM 2.0 (hence base DX12 support) with 358.70 dev drivers. All GCN GPUs support WDDM 2.0, and all Nvidia GPUs past Kepler also run at WDDM 2.0.
        AMD never even bothered to support WDDM 2.0 for Cayman, released later than both the 400 and 500 Fermi cards.

          • Krogoth
          • 4 years ago

          It is unofficial support DX12 for older stuff. If it works then great. If there’s a bug then Nvidia and AMD have little incentive to fix it.

    • nanoflower
    • 4 years ago

    I can understand why they are doing this but I would prefer they wait until they have a WHQL version of the redesigned drivers instead of having to use a beta version if you want the latest driver.

    • slaimus
    • 4 years ago

    If the old drivers work then I’m okay with it. I have Windows 10 running on an old Dell laptop with a Radeon X300 and its driver (from 2010) is still doing what it supposed to do.

    Though the update was extremely minor (some security fix), my secondary box’s 8800GT actually got a driver update a few days ago: [url<]http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/94794/en-us[/url<] and my barely used box's 6800GT also got an update earlier in the year.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    Owners of older cards better hope MS doesn’t do anything to the Windows driver model to break the existing 15.7.1 drivers, then. With the launch of Windows 10 being so recent, you’d hope that the drivers remain usable for at least a couple of years.

    (This doesn’t affect me regardless. I’m currently using the Open Source drivers for the Radeon 6xxx card in my Linux desktop, and was planning to go with nVidia for my next build anyway…)

      • bjm
      • 4 years ago

      The 15.7.1 drivers are written against WDDM 2.0, which was just released for Windows 10. Considering how you can install even Vista-era WDDM 1.0 drivers on Windows 10 without major issues, it’s safe to say that a known working WHQL-certified WDDM 2.0 driver will be forward-compatible with future versions of Windows for quite some time.

      If it isn’t, then whichever version of Windows breaks that compatibility will be breaking far more than just that 15.7.1 driver.

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Guess my HD7770 just narrowly missed the axe.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      The lowest 7000 card AMD released to the open market was the 7730, the ones having support moved into legacy mode only appeared in pre-built systems.

        • ronch
        • 4 years ago

        Yup. Was referring to the HD77xx GPUs based on Cape Verde. Cape Verde is still the smallest incarnation of GCN AFAIK.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 4 years ago

    “Radeon HD 7600 and lower cards, along with HD 8400 and lower cards, are also entering sunset status today.”

    I presume my mobile Radeon 8750M is still safe?

      • EndlessWaves
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, all the mobile 8000 series were GCN, the 8750M using the same Oland chip as the desktop 240 and 250.

      The only reason that low end 7000 and desktop 8000 models were getting cut was that they were the typical older chip re-brands.

      Although strangely enough they’re supporting the R5 230 and not the 6450 etc. despite them sharing a GPU.

    • swaaye
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder if NV will do the same to Fermi anytime soon. I think they still sell some Fermi chips so probably not.

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      IIRC, they already maintain three drivers. One, the current one you’re familiar with and two legacy ones going back to the TNT, again, IIRC.

        • swaaye
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah Fermi onward are on the same path. NV typically provides years more support for a product than AMD does.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 4 years ago

      Well 6-series and 7-series just passed into legacy status last year, so Fermi is still safe. They may drop 8 and 9 series soon though, I suppose.

      • Krogoth
      • 4 years ago

      They will only start phasing out Fermi stuff when Windows 7 and 8 are officially EOL. Nvidia already drop support for DX9-era stuff when XP went EOL.

    • Topinio
    • 4 years ago

    Frame pacing for DX9, Crossfire FreeSync DX9, frame limiting for DX9 and up to 200 FPS 🙂

    • TruthSerum
    • 4 years ago

    It’s true, optimizing the newest games for legacy graphics bugs doesn’t make a lot of sense.
    You get the smallest % benefit and the smallest % of user base, but the test job remains.

    7600 is a reasonable place to cut that off I think. You can get a better GPU on their CPU’s now.

    • bthylafh
    • 4 years ago

    My 7850 is uncomfortably close to being unsupported, now. :/

      • dodozoid
      • 4 years ago

      Not realy, since it has the same GPU as recent product – the r9 370

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      5 years is a pretty good run..

      • tipoo
      • 4 years ago

      As a GCN part it’s probably fine for a while yet. They’re even still recycling GCN 1.0 (sigh).

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    Interestingly far more than the facelift I thought at first. There’s frame pacing fixes, mouse latency improvements, texture caching for game load time improvements.

    Interested in testing of all those against Nvidia, I’m sure that will be provided 🙂

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